Internet service needs carrot … or big stick

Editor hopes high-speed online connection is completed more quickly than high-speed road to North Island

I was going to write my column this week on Internet in the Tri Port area.

However, I went on line to do some research and my computer froze.

I have heard complaints about the slow and plodding Internet since I moved here, before I moved here for that matter.

I have experienced it first hand since I arrived, both at work and at home.

I have to admit it has been frustrating.

Trying to Skype or Facetime family and loved ones, or even log onto Facebook to connect with people, is challenging on some days, impossible on others.

A friend here is studying on-line and often gets booted off halfway through a course and has to start all over again.

Having people email photos to the Gazette and having them not show up creates issues in a deadline-oriented business like a newspaper.

It is inconceivable to me in this day and age that a group of people should be without reliable Internet access, or on a waiting list for Internet; when people in more populated areas have it.

In fact, it can be argued that people in more isolated areas need reliable service more than their counterparts in larger centres. They need it for access to information, medical services, and education, because some of these services are not close at hand. Businesses also need it to stay competitive in a world that relies more and more on marketing itself and its goods and services to a worldwide audience.

The Internet also plays a huge role in marketing what this area has to offer to tourists.

Internet access is a necessary tool to maintaining our connections to the rest of the world, while retaining our quality of life in rural communities.

Telus has promised Internet service will be much improved by the end of this month.

I, and many others are hopeful, but I gather this promise is something area residents have heard many times before.

People say they have been told for years that high speed Internet is coming, with the latest carrot of this month, being dangled before residents.

This isn’t the first time that a carrot has been dangled in front of the community.

It took over 100 years of lobbying to get a highway to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. It took the “Carrot Campaign” to make the government keep that promise.

Hopefully, we won’t have to erect a second carrot in Carrot Park in Port Hardy because it takes another hundred to get the information highway up here.

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